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Plant Physiol. 1992 Jun;99(2):734-47.

Measurement of Net Fluxes of Ammonium and Nitrate at the Surface of Barley Roots Using Ion-Selective Microelectrodes : II. Patterns of Uptake Along the Root Axis and Evaluation of the Microelectrode Flux Estimation Technique.

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  • 1Section of Plant Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


Net fluxes of NH(4) (+) and NO(3) (-) into roots of 7-day-old barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv Prato) seedlings varied both with position along the root axis and with time. These variations were not consistent between replicate plants; different roots showed unique temporal and spatial patterns of uptake. Axial scans of NH(4) (+) and NO(3) (-) net fluxes were conducted along the apical 7 centimeters of seminal roots of intact barley seedlings in solution culture using ion-selective microelectrodes in the unstirred layer immediately external to the root surface. Theoretically derived relationships between uptake and concentration gradients, combined with experimental observations of the conditions existing in our experimental system, permitted evaluation of the contribution of bulk water flow to ion movement in the unstirred layer, as well as a measure of the spatial resolution of the microelectrode flux estimation technique. Finally, a method was adopted to assess the accuracy of this technique.

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